On February 5, 2016, German power metal veterans Brainstorm will release their follow-up to 2014’s excellent Firesoul on AFM Records. Titled, Scary Creatures, the band continue to deliver heavy, dark, and aggressive power metal music with plenty of melody and the vocal prowess of Andy B. Franck.
For fans of Firesoul as well as a majority of Brainstorms back catalog, Scary Creatures continues on their past efforts , while also adding new dimensions to their sound in terms of melodic content as well as the heavier aspects of the music. After several listens I would dare to say this might be the heaviest Brainstorm release yet, while still retaining the bands signature sound.
The albums first “single” The World We Know has a pounding and driving heavy rhythm and chugging guitars. The vocal melodies and chorus is classic Andy B Franck, powerful, melodic, and emotive. There are some great guitar solos with technique and flash courtesy of Brainstorm guitarist duo Torsten Ihlenfeld and Milan Loncaric.
The next song, How Much Can You Take, is another classic Brainstorm mid-tempo headbanger. The chorus is incredibly anthemic with a sing/shout-a-long chorus. There are some great harmony guitar leads from Ihlenfeld and Loncaric as well.
We Are is a bass heavy (courtesy of Antonio Ieva ) mid-tempo rocker with some great vocals from Franck, including some sections where his vocals are reminiscent of Dave Mustaine of Megadeth (with more melody of course) and a some great guitar riffs and a melodic powerful chorus.
The pace quickens on the lively and aggressively heavy Where Angels Dream. The pounding double bass drums of Dieter Bernert power the song along with the chugging guitar riffs, blistering harmony solos and another trademark Brainstorm chorus shines here.
The title track is a darker affair with some symphonic elements and a much more aggressive approach to the vocals with an ominous feel to them. The next song Twisted Ways is a faster number with powerful guitars and vocals and melodic uplifting chorus with some soaring vocals from Franck.
Caressed By The Blackness has pounding drum beat and a riff and melody line that, for whatever reason, reminds me of classic Stryper (absolutely meant as a compliment!).
More classic German power metal is featured on Scars In Your Eyes, although the melodies during the verses aren’t as catchy, the chorus is a shout-a-long monster. Take Me To The Never is another mid-tempo stomper with chugging guitars and Franck’s agressive booming vocals are on full display here and used to great effect.
Sky Among The Clouds closes the album with a melodic guitar riff and Franck’s vocals going back and forth from a darker Mustaine-esque growl to a soaring uplifting chorus that once again recalls what Brainstorm does best.
For long time fans of Brainstorm, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed with Scary Creatures, although some may feel that it’s a little too similar to Firesoul. Power metal fans who prefer their music anthemic and heavy will definitely want to pick this album as well.